M: Mac and Cheese with Spaghetti Squash and Spinach

Strictly speaking, this recipe is not mac and cheese, so if you can’t have mac and cheese without it, you should move on. In place of the mac is spaghetti squash, and it is just as delicious as the mac, but without all the carbs. The real star of this dish is the cheese. It is great as a side, but I also do it as a main dish on weeknights as this is a great dish to prep ahead of time and then just throw in the oven later. It is based on the recipe from SkinnyTaste.

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Spinach

Ingredients

5 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (basically 2 small squash)

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup flour

2 cups skim milk

1 cup chicken broth

2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend

salt and pepper to taste

4 ounces baby spinach

1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half length wise. Remove and discard the seeds.
  3. Place the squash on a baking sheet cut side down. Bake until tender, approximately 1 hour.
  4. Remove the squash from the oven, but maintain the oven temperature for a later step.
  5. Use a fork to pull out the strands of squash from the shell. Place the strands in a medium bowl. Discard the shells and squeeze the water out of the squash if necessary.
  6. Heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Whisk in the flour and continue to stir constantly for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Add milk and chicken broth and continue to whisk, raising the heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Once the mixture becomes thick, remove it from the heat and add the cheddar cheese. Mix until it is melted.
  12. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, add in the spinach and spaghetti squash, pour into a baking dish, and top with parmesan cheese.
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